Bar Crawl Radio
Ukrainians in NYC
BCR co-hosts Rebecca McKean and Alan Winson and producer. Alina Larson spoke with Ukrainians living, working and protesting in NYC. Andrew Fessak is the president of the Board of Trustees of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr located on Manhattan's Upper West Side; Sam and Natasha are owners of the Blintz Box located in the underground Turnstyle Market next to the 59th Street subway station; Aleksandra Pryymak is a yoga instructor at a local Montessori school and a former Soviet athlete. Alina Larson spoke with several Ukrainian and Russian New Yorkers at the March 5, 2022 rally in Times Square protesting the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
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215. Two Jewish Israelis01:05:05For this BCR program, we spoke with two Jewish Israeli's. Nahum Schnitzer is my cousin. Ariella Dubrowin is my cousin once removed. Both have raised their families in Israel, Nahum -- 40 years – Ariella – 20. The conflict in Gaza has encased their world in ways that neither I – nor most of you listening to this podcast – can fully get. Ariella wrote me about a month ago. She was troubled about a recent program I posted – "I want to say Kaddish" – which presented both the intense protests in the US against the actions of the IDF in Gaza and the general obliviousness of winter-break tourists in NYC. So we invited Nahum and Ariella to join Rebecca and me for a conversation. But I did not want to talk about the never-ending conflict. Rather, I sensed it would be more useful – positive – connecting – life affirming – to learn about their lives in their chosen country, which – as you will hear – they so dearly cherish.So this will be a program about two Israeli Jews – originally from the North East region of the United States – living within trauma – in a place that fulfills them.At the beginning of this program I said that Israel is "crumbling." In a recent email my cousin -- Nahum -- disagreed and wrote: "I think you did a masterful job editing. I have only one reservation. In your opening remarks you said that Israel is crumbling. That is the opposite of the situation. Israel is battered – but very strong. Israeli military strength is the least of it – our resilience and inner fortitude, spiritual resources, solidarity and mutual support are what makes us truly strong."Again -- thanks to Ariella and Nahum for sharing a bit of their lives in their "battered" land.Alan Winsonbarcrawlradio@gmail.com
214. Poverty & American Justice01:04:10In 1963, when the Supreme Court overturned Gideon v Wainwright, Justice Hugo Black wrote: “Even the intelligent and educated layman requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him. Without it, though he be not guilty, he faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence.” The public defender is that legal bulwark that works for a balance in our justice system. For this BCR conversation we heard from two public defenders from Prince George's County Circuit Court. Yahshauh Ford and Brandon Ruben contrasted the public defender's nuanced, human approach to justice with the blunt force of the prosecutor. They spoke of the difficulty of establishing a rapport with their clients -- poor and, for the most part. African American -- who sense that justice will never apply to them in this country -- and of the unequal power of the better-paid prosecutor to control the charging and sentencing process.
213. UWSers Helping Prisoners of Conscience51:22May 1961 -- Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International, wrote that he was sickened by governments imprisoning citizens for speaking or singing in protest. The work of Amnesty International continues around the world and on the Upper West Side with members of Group 11. Since the early 1970s members of Group 11 have helped to free prisoners of conscience in Iran, Chile, China, Indonesia, Libya, Myanmar, Poland, Rhodesia, South Africa, Vietnam and the former USSR. And, currently, AI-USA’s Group 11 is working to free Narges Mohammadi -- the 2023 Nobel Prize winner who has fought for women’s rights in Iran and is now in an Iranian prison. We attended Group 11's 48th Annual Benefit Concert in December, 2023 and then joined Group 11 coordinators Harry Schwartz and Sue Dicker and musicians and composers Marcia Eckert and Debra Kaye at Mr. Schwatz's UWS apartment, to talk about their work to free Prisoners of Conscience and the concert.
212. I want to say Kaddish.19:44Sharing the joyful and angry sounds of our city at the end of a year of retching violence. Let the human-made turbulence of 2023 pass quickly.
211. Human Rights Reloaded57:15In 1948, all nations signed onto a document stating that the way a government treats its citizens can be judged by the rest of the world. This December, 2023, is the 75th Anniversary of the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR]. Joining us for this conversation on the Gebhard's Beer Culture Bar porch are three women who explained the significance of the UDHR.Jackie Dugard studies how laws impact social change and justice, focusing on power and exclusion. She is a Senior Lecturer at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights – and an Associate Professor at the School of Law of Wits University in Johannesburg. Prof. Dugard is an affiliate at the Center for Human Rights & Global Justice, a co-founder and the first Executive Director of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa.Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, is a human rights and public health scholar – focusing on preventing sexual and gender-based crimes and slavery. She is an Associate Professor of Clinical Law, and the Director of the Benjamin B. Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic and the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights at Yeshiva University. Debra Sweet is the director of the Brooklyn-based World Can’t Wait – which protested the Iraq War, exposed the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo and other U.S. prisons, and opposes military recruiters coming to high schools and colleges. BONUS: A week before this recording, we spoke with Paul O'Brien -- the head of Amnesty International-USA -- at a benefit concert for Group 11, the NYC affiliate of AI-USA. Paul's comments are edited into this conversation.
210. AI & Human Health59:59This BCR conversation may seem complex but its also simple – and – will possibly end human existence. If your physician can access all of your medical records, she will do a better job. And if generative AI knows all about the health of every human -- what then?We talked with two experts developing the power of Artificial Intelligence to keep us healthy. Dr. Mark Braunstein is the guru of FHIR -- not a misspelling -- an acronym for Fast Healthcare interoperability Resources – a technology helping physicians to access everything about our medical history and condition, easy and fast. Mark is a professor at the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and a former health Informatics entrepreneur – and a visiting scientist at the eHealth Research Centre in Brisbane, Australia.Vince Hartman is the co-founder and CEO of Abstractive Health, a new company that is reducing physician burnout through the power of generative AI. Mr. Hartman has over a decade of experience in product management and software engineering in the healthcare field. There is a lot more to Vince’s resum´e -- but it includes so many technical abbreviations I dare not go there.And visiting BCR as we recorded on the porch of Gebhard's Beer Culture Bar was Peter Frishauf creator of Medscape and godfather of Osmosis.Alan WinsonCONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
209. Anti-Nuclear Gadflies: Martha Hennessy & Brian Terrell01:00:01Late November, 2023 -- John C. Wester -- Archbishop of Sante Fe -- spoke at the Church of Our Savior at E. 38th Street and Park Avenue. About 200 were gathered to honor the 43rd anniversary of the death of Dorothy Day – and – to consider the abolition of nuclear weapons. At the United Nations that week the countries that signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons were meeting. The United States was not one of them.The day after Archbishop Wester spoke – I met with two people who have dedicated their lives to peace in our world -- Brian Terrell and granddaughter of Dorothy Day – Martha Hennessy. Both had been on BCR – Martha in connection with her KingsbayPlowshares 7 protest at the Trident Nuclear Submarine Base in Georgia for which she was incarcerated in a Federal Prison for over a year. And, I first met Brian Terrell in covering the Witness Against Torture protests in Washington D.C. of the continued U.S. detention of dozens of Muslim men in Guantanamo. And I have talked to Brian many times since about his work to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. When he is not protesting and getting arrested, Brian runs a goat farm in Malloy, Iowa.Alan Winson
208. Sustainable Banking: Amalgamated Bank & Ivan Frishberg38:54What is a bank?What is a bank for?Can a bank fight evil and right wrongs?Or is a bank no more than a profit-seeking shark working for its investors?Or - both?For this BCR program we had a conversation about a little bank that could … that is, could make our lives better through responsible investments. We invited Ivan Frishberg -- Senior Vice President Chief Sustainability Officer of Amalgamated Bank – to 5Napkin Burger Bar and Restaurant to talk about how he is leading his bank and our world to a financial net zero.Rebecca McKean was out sick. I was joined by my good friend Paul Alan Ruben. Paul is an award-winning audio book director -- winner of two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word. And a published author.Alan WinsonCONTACT: email@example.com
207. Three Women Composers51:47According to Britannica, a musical composition is the art of conceiving and creating music. I love to sing, and I very much enjoy listening to music. That part I get, but to compose music, to pick out the notes, the instruments… I’m completely at a loss. Fortunately, we have three women composers with us today who will explain what it means to be a female composer in today’s music world.For this BCR program, we spoke with Svjetlana Bukvich, best known for her blending of classical music, media and electronic music. Sarajevo-born and NYC-based -- Svjetlana is widely regarded as an innovative, dynamic, multimedia American composers. Her music has been heard at The Kennedy Center, the Tribeca Film Festival, Brooklyn’s Bargemusic, Rose Studio at Lincoln Center – and many other venues.Beth Anderson Harold is a composer of new romantic music, text-sound works, and music theatre events. Her early work was considered post-Cagian and non-academic. Beth studied with John Cage, Terry Riley, Robert Ashley and Larry Austin at Mills College and U.C. Davis. You can catch her beautiful compositions at New World Records and many other places on the web.Gramophone described Debra Kaye as “an eclectic unfolding of creativity.” Debra has won 6 Global Music Awards and received grants from Mannes College, Meet the Composer, and Edward T. Cone Foundation; and commissions from the Howland Chamber Music Circle and Portland Youth Philharmonic; Ms Kay’s works have premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, in collaboration with the Lincoln Trio and Daedalus Quartet. Rebecca McKean